US Transportation Regulations

US Transportation Regulations

Various US government agencies are involved in the development and enforcement of transportation regulations.  

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), an agency in the United States Department of Transportation, develops and enforces data-driven regulations that balance motor carrier (truck and bus companies) safety with efficiency. FMCSA harnesses safety information systems to focus on higher-risk carriers in enforcing the safety regulations. It also targets educational messages to carriers, commercial drivers, and the public; and partners with stakeholders including federal, state, and local enforcement agencies, the motor carrier industry, safety groups, and organized labor to reduce bus and truck-related crashes.

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is an agency within the U.S. Department of Transportation that supports state and local governments in the design, construction, and maintenance of the nation's highway system (Federal Aid Highway Program) and various federally and tribal owned lands (Federal Lands Highway Program).

The mission of the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) is to “ensure a competitive and reliable international ocean transportation supply system that supports the U.S. economy and protects the public from unfair and deceptive practices.”

The FMC achieves these goals by reviewing and monitoring agreements among ocean common carriers and marine terminal operators (MTOs) serving the U.S.-foreign ocean-borne trades to ensure that they do not cause substantial increases in transportation costs or decreases in transportation services. The FMC also maintains and reviews confidentially filed service contracts and Non-Vessel-Operating Common Carrier (NVOCC) Service Arrangements in order to guard against detrimental effects to shipping.

The Federal Railroad Administration’s mission is to enable the safe, reliable, and efficient movement of people and goods. FRA exercises its responsibilities for regulating the safety of the nation's railroad system and development of intercity passenger rail through legislative rules; non-legislative rules (‘interpretive rules and policy statements), and management and procedural Rules.

The Maritime Administration (MARAD) is the agency within the U.S. Department of Transportation that deals with waterborne transportation. Its programs promote the use of waterborne transportation and its seamless integration with other segments of the transportation system, and the viability of the U.S. merchant marine. MARAD works in many areas involving ships and shipping, shipbuilding, port operations, vessel operations, national security, environment, and safety.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is the US governmental body with powers to regulate all aspects of civil aviation in the US and in its surrounding international waters. Its powers include the construction and operation of airports, air traffic management, the certification of personnel and aircraft, and the protection of U.S. assets during the launch or re-entry of commercial space vehicles.

 

18 Oct 2021
The White House’s intervention to resolve port bottlenecks in Southern California faces steep challenges that will require coordinated action from terminals, truckers, and distribution centers effectively acting as an integrated system.
29 Sep 2021
A demurrage dispute between a New York customs broker and Mediterranean Shipping Co. unmasks the degree to which key communication of shipment milestones is overly reliant on email.
17 Sep 2021
A Brazilian wood importer is the latest shipper to strike back with a Federal Maritime Commission complaint that alleges unfair treatment from CMA CGM and Fenix Marine.
05 Aug 2021
A US importer’s complaint to US regulators of not getting trans-Pacific service contracts honored underscores how cargo demand and diminished efficiency leading to tighter capacity across all modes including ports is creating conflicts with carriers over agreed contracted volume allocations.
04 Aug 2021
Federal maritime regulators have ordered eight container lines to provide details showing how port congestion surcharges meet legal and regulatory requirements, the latest escalation in increased US oversight of container shipping.
26 Jul 2021
The Biden administration has nominated a former longshoreman and state representative from the state of Washington to replace Michael Khouri on the US Federal Maritime Commission.
23 Jul 2021
The US Surface Transportation Board wants the seven Class I railroads to explain their policies and practices for demurrage fees, but the agency is holding off on regulating them more — for now.
18 Jul 2021
A bill expected to be introduced in Congress in August would drive a sweeping bipartisan overhaul of US shipping law if passed.
12 Jul 2021
The agreement creates a framework for Federal Maritime Commission and Department of Justice officials to share information and expertise when relevant and useful to monitoring and enforcing shipping law.
15 Jun 2021
Two members of US Congress want to give the FMC more power to enforce legal cases against ocean carriers that refuse to take export containers in a bid to help US ag shippers.
19 May 2021
The National Industrial Transportation League said that the Shipping Act needs to be updated to address the many issues that US shippers have faced over the last 10 months.
14 Apr 2021
A New York City regulator who established a minimum wage for app-based rideshare drivers has been nominated to head the US truck safety watchdog agency.
21 Mar 2021
If approved by regulators, the planned merger of Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern railways would offer cargo owners a single network straddling the largest global trade bloc.
10 Mar 2021
More members of Congress are asking federal maritime regulators to speed up their probe into the lack of export container availability for US agricultural shippers, saying monthly updates are needed.
28 Jan 2021
Policy experts told the virtual SMC3 Jump Start 2021 conference they expect a renewed push to limit truck driver hours of service, but also truck driver detention, during the Biden administration.
26 Jan 2021
National Shipping of America (NSA) made its inaugural call to Port Everglades last week after the US Maritime Administration (MARAD) designated the South Florida port as part of the country’s so-called Marine Highway system on Jan. 8.
28 Aug 2020
A proposed Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration pilot project would let truck drivers stop the hours of service clock for up to three hours and then resume driving, giving them more control over their schedules, but a longer day.
20 Aug 2020
A chassis dispute between trucking executives and ocean carriers has reached an impasse, spurring American Trucking Associations to seek a resolution from the US Federal Maritime Commission.
22 Jul 2020
Container shipping alliances can cancel on blank sailings as long as it’s done to adjust capacity to match lower volumes and they don’t cause an unreasonable reduction in transportation services or an unreasonable increase in costs.
15 Jul 2020
When implementing environmental policy, West Coast elected officials are urged to balance clean-air goals with the burden of increased cost of goods movement.
14 May 2020
The new final US hours-of-service rule gives truckers more flexibility in how they use their daily hours, but shippers get a gift of capacity that could help extend their pricing power.
03 Mar 2020
The FMCSA is sending undisclosed changes to truck driver hours of service (HOS) rules to the White House for approval, raising hopes for greater flexibility in truck scheduling.
07 Feb 2020
JOC Associate Editor Ari Ashe gives a preview of the TPM20 panel (2 March) on California bill AB5. For the full agenda visit: www.joc-tpm.com/agenda
24 Dec 2019
The US Federal Maritime Commission has proposed a rule that would see the agency take a more active role in detention and demurrage disputes, but container carriers are laying the groundwork for a potential legal challenge in 2020 should the FMC enact the rule.
23 Dec 2019
New legislation will take effect in California Jan. 1 that would make it much more difficult for truck drivers to retain independent contractor status, but owner operators are stuck in limbo pending a court decision on a legal challenge to the new rules.
20 Dec 2019
The FMC exemption is part of a broader effort to reduce filing requirements related to freight transportation long after trucking companies and railroads were released from the burden of filing tariffs with the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) in 1994.
20 Dec 2019
The JOC.com editorial team has identified 10 trends every shipper, carrier, and third-party logistics provider should be watching in the upcoming year.
18 Nov 2019
The number of violations issued to drivers for exceeding hours of service limits has dropped significantly since the ELD mandate took effect, but false log violations rose last year.
06 Nov 2019
The number of speeding violations handed to US truck drivers jumped 7.8 percent in 2018, but speeding has been a problem since long before that. Shippers need to help solve it.
04 Nov 2019
A group of agricultural exports blames ocean carriers and terminal operators for creating crippling terminal congestion and then profiting off the problem.
31 Oct 2019
Stakeholders in the container shipping industry are debating how demurrage clocks should begin, when they should be suspended, and when it’s fair and unfair to assess penalties to beneficial cargo owners (BCOs).
16 Sep 2019
The US Department of Agriculture has approved nine new locations for its longstanding in-transit cold treatment program in the southern and western parts of the country.
06 Sep 2019
The Federal Maritime Commission agreed to the recommendations stemming from a year-and-half effort led by Commissioner Rebecca Dye to address complaints from cargo owners and drayage drivers over what they considered unfair fees for failing to pick up cargo and return equipment in a timely manner.
05 Sep 2019
The California state legislature is on track to pass a bill, which the governor intends to sign into law, that could fundamentally alter the relationship between shippers, trucking companies, and port truck drivers. It's expected to be signed before an intermodal conference this month in Long Beach.
19 Aug 2019
Proposed hours-of-service reforms -- though well-intentioned -- are a “catastrophe waiting to happen” for the US trucking sector, according to one interested observer.
06 Aug 2019
Trucking companies are warning shippers that a regulation requiring fleets to switch from automatic on-board recording devices to electronic-logging devices in December could slow productivity more than some realize.